Carlsbad is a weekend destination for food lovers - Carlsbad restaurants serve American classics, innovative dishes and everything in between. After a morning of exploration, have a casual lunch where you will get to sample superb seafood, sushi, Mexican food or burgers. End the day with a romantic celebration at one of the elegant restaurants serving Californian, fine French or Italian dishes. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.TWENTY/20

TWENTY/20
© TWENTY/20

Boasting picturesque views of the coastline from the cliff top of Carlsbad’s highest point, TWENTY/20 is the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant and offers a delightful, romantic dining experience. The stylish restaurant features several seating options, from an upscale dining room and covered outdoor terrace to an intimate bar and elegant lounge with custom-designed fire and water features that create a comfortable ambiance.

Executive Chef Julian Quinones presents a menu of farm-to-coast cuisine inspired by the fresh flavors of the California coast and made with organic and locally sourced ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From starters and flatbreads to delectable main courses that include pan roasted salmon and pork Osso Bucco, a wide range of dishes cater to every taste.

Wine lovers can choose from more than 100 selections by the bottle and 30 wines by the glass from an extensive wine list featuring vintages from around the world, as well as a selection of barrel-aged cocktails and margaritas.

5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-827-2500

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2.West Steak and Seafood

West Steak and Seafood
© West Steak and Seafood


West Steak and Seafood is an intimate fine dining restaurant that has fast become one of Carlsbad’s favored dining venues since opening in 2005. The restaurant’s creative culinary team presents a healthy farm-to-table menu of the highest quality prime steaks, seafood, fresh salads and vegetables from the West Farm and decadent desserts, all served in a casual and relaxed ambiance.

Starters include baked blue crab cakes, seared jumbo scallops and crispy lobster spring rolls. Composed plates feature Big Eye tuna from Hawaii, oven roasted chicken and a surf-and-turf plate of fresh Maine lobster and filet mignon. West Steak and Seafood is one of the best Carlsbad CA restaurants and boasts a full-service bar that serves an extensive wine list of wines by the glass, half-bottle, and full bottle, as well as sparkling wines from around the world.

4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-930-9100

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3.Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar

Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar
© Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar

Paon Restaurant serves fine French cuisine with California influences in an elegant Art Deco-style setting. Soft lighting, tones of cream and gold and beautiful artworks set the scene for an intimate dining experience and knowledgeable and attentive staff caters to every need.

Paon's menu features seasonal, locally grown, organic produce for the palates of gourmands and food lovers, with dishes such as Traditional French Escargot Bourguignon in garlic butter, Veal Sweet Breads in a black truffle sauce, Seared Rare Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna served with Truffle Vinaigrette and Sun Choke Purée, and Pan Roasted Pheasant served with Vegetable Truffle Risotto in a Madeira Sauce.

A stylish lounge and relaxing outdoor patio are ideal spots for enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner drink from the extensive wine list, and a private dining room is available for special occasions or large group gatherings.

2975 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-729-7377

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4.Beach Plum Kitchen

Beach Plum Kitchen
© Beach Plum Kitchen


Beach Plum Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch restaurant that serves organic fare made from locally and regionally sourced ingredients in a contemporary and casual setting. Meals include a range of egg plates and omelets, such as New York steak and eggs and Carnitas and Eggs, while the griddle produces delights such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Healthier options include muesli and yogurt, homemade granola, quinoa and coconut porridge and smoked salmon bagels. The lunch boasts an array of sandwiches, burritos, burgers and lobster rolls, as well as salads and specials of clam chowder, chicken and bean chili and pork belly hash.

Plaza Paseo Real, 6971 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-931-1362

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5.Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar

Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
© Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar


Fusing the fresh flavors of the ocean with traditions of the past, Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar offers diners an unparalleled seafood experience. Featuring a traditional robata grill, a cooking style that originated centuries ago when Japanese fishermen needed a way to cook on their boats, Blue Ocean presents a menu of fresh seafood and sushi, signature cocktails, craft beers, wine, and spirits. Starters include salt and pepper calamari, crispy soft shell crab and chilled oysters.

The robata grill presents hot plates of salmon steak, grilled octopus, miso-glazed black cod, and five-spice duck tacos. Fresh, made-to-order sushi and sashimi can be enjoyed at the sushi bar while a special three-course set menu features soups and salad, assorted sashimi, fish and vegetable stir-fry.

2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-4959

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6.Las Olas

Las Olas
© Las Olas

Las Olas is a vibrant and inviting restaurant in the heart of old Carlsbad that serves authentic and traditional Mexican food, margaritas, and cocktails.

Las Olas offers an array of delicious Mexican fare, ranging from Build-Your-Own-Taco-Platters with fillings like scallops, sautéed fish, chicken, carnitas and vegetables, stuffed flame-roasted Poblano chilies, Mahi Mahi or shrimp to traditional delights like grilled vegetable enchiladas, carne asada burritos, and crispy fried beef, chicken tacos or famous fish tacos.

Fresh food is prepared daily using locally sourced organic ingredients, fresh herbs, and spices. Pair cuisine with local craft beers and sublime margaritas that can be found at all three San Diego locations.

2939 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-5850

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7.Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's

Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's
© Chandler's

Chandler’s is an elegant restaurant located on Cape Rey that serves delicious simply prepared food in a relaxed California coastal-style ambiance. Boasting a stylish West Coast theme with casual indoor and outdoor dining spaces, the seasonal menu features ‘New American’ cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients, seafood, and farm produce. Diners can enjoy a range of food from full American and continental breakfasts to fresh salads, soups and sandwiches for lunch and succulent steaks, salmon, chicken and swordfish for dinner.

The menu is complemented by an excellent selection of wines, outstanding service, and spectacular ocean views.

1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-683-5500

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8.Miguel's Cocina

Miguel's Cocina
© Miguel's Cocina

Miguel’s Cocina is a haven for Mexican food and is home to some of the most authentic Mexican flavors north of the border. Opened in 1982 through a love of traditional regional cooking, Miguel’s menu captures the true spirit of Mexico with classics such as sizzling sirloin fajitas, Sonoran grilled swordfish tacos and spicy, rich chicken mole, as well as artisan cuisine of fresh salsa, handmade tortillas, and decadent jalapeño white sauce.

Vibrant décor and signature friendly service accompany the enticing menu which ca be enjoyed at six locations all around the country, including on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad.

5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-759-1843 (website)

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9.Carlsbad restaurants: California Bistro

Carlsbad restaurants: California Bistro
© California Bistro

Based in the luxurious Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, California Bistro blends the comfort and style of a modern-day bistro with the market-fresh farm-to-table cuisine typical of Southern California to create an unrivaled dining experience.

Featuring a menu that celebrates seasonality, simple, beautifully prepared dishes are created from fresh, organic ingredients, such as seafood ceviche, crispy calamari, pan-seared salmon, smoked chicken quesadillas, and grilled shrimp Panzanella. Desserts include Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee, Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, New York Style Cheesecake and a range of ports. California Bistro offers a delicious breakfast buffet and an innovative à la carte menu for breakfast and lunch, as well as a Bloody Mary Brunch Buffet every Sunday.

7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-448-1234

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10.The Seafood & Steakhouse

The Seafood & Steakhouse
© The Seafood & Steakhouse

Boasting breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and an Old World Italian elegance, The Seafood & Steakhouse is part of the Vigilucci’s Group, serving certified prime steaks and fresh seafood alongside an award-winning wine list.

The decadent private dining room is spacious and light with an elegant charm while tones of cream and beige and crisply set tables present an air of tranquility. The aesthetic appeal is continued in the menu with starters of gourmet antipasti platters, Primi Piatti of fresh salads and Secondi Piatti of pistachio-herb crusted New Zealand rack of lamb, seafood cioppino, and sesame-crusted sashimi grade seared ahi tuna. Dolce offers Italian-inspired desserts such as tiramisu and gourmet gelato while the notable wine list presents wines from Italy, California and other countries renowned for their superb wines.

3878 Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-2580

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11.Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew

Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew
© Board and Brew

Board & Brew serves a simple, straightforward menu of quality sandwiches and craft beer, made from fresh local ingredients and served by friendly, welcoming staff. Boasting a relaxed, beach atmosphere and casual, laid-back ambiance, Board & Brew presents a menu of delicious sandwiches with toppings such as tuna, pastrami, chicken, turkey breast and fresh vegetables, homemade soups and salads, and specials from the grill.

A range of craft beer is available to accompany the food and Board & Brew’s menu can be enjoyed on site or ordered online.

Bressi: 2675 Gateway Road, Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad, CA 92009, Phone: 760-929-2739; Village: 201 Oak Avenue, Carlsbad Village, CA 92008, Phone: 760-434-4466

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12.The Naked Cafe

The Naked Cafe
© The Naked Cafe


The Naked Café is all about healthy food and eating and serves a menu of simple cuisine created from whole foods and incredible flavors. Balancing wholesome grains and powerful herbs and spices with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, environmentally conscious and globally influenced dishes are inspired from foods around the world, such as coconut French toast, homemade pancakes, quesadillas, wraps and tacos, salads, soups, and sandwiches.

A range of beverages is on offer, from 100% organic Fair Trade coffee, teas, smoothies, and freshly squeezed juices, to local beers and champagne cocktails.

300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 107A, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-720-7866

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12 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants



Attraction Spotlight: LEGOLAND California Resort

Situated just north of San Diego in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND® California Resort is a family-friendly themed play park with over 60 interactive attractions, rides, and shows for visitors of all ages. LEGOLAND® is also home to SEA LIFE® Aquarium and the LEGOLAND® Water Park – the first such park in the world. There is also a hotel at the resort that offers comfortable overnight accommodation and delicious cuisine.

LEGOLAND® Water Park

LEGOLAND® California Resort is the first LEGOLAND® resort in the world to feature a water park. Located next to the buildings in Fun Town, the Water Park features a variety of water-based activities and adventures, including Build-A-Raft, DUPLO Splash Safari, Imagination Station, Joker Soaker, Orange Rush, Pirate Reef, Splash Out, Soak-n-Sail, Twin Chasers, and Splash Zoo. The Chima Water Park features several adventures such as Cragger’s Swamp, Crooler’s Twist, Crug’s Run, Eglor’s Build-a-Boat, and the Lion Temple Wave Pool.

SEA LIFE® Aquarium

The SEA LIFE® Aquarium is an interactive aquarium and marine park that offers visitors an interactive guide to the life of the sea. The Aquarium features interactive and hands-on learning activities, adventures, up-close encounters with sea creatures and a variety of fascinating educational talks.

Explorer Island

Explorer Island is a dinosaur-themed exploration area of the park which features a large sand pit where children can ‘dig’ for fossils, a Gerstlauer-built mini steel roller coaster, and a replica of the LEGOLAND Deutschland roller coaster ‘Drachenjagd.’

Heartlake City

Based on the LEGO Friends brand, LEGOLAND®’s Heartlake City features a ‘Friends Forever Stage’ where visitors can perform music shows, the Heartlake Water Fountain, a play area known as Heartlake Stables and ‘Mia’s Riding Camp.’

Miniland USA

Miniland USA is a miniature park that features a 1:20 scale model that features significant architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States, built from more than 20 million LEGO bricks. Miniland USA also has a Model Shop, the primary design and building office for Legoland's US parks where visitors can watch master builders at work on new models.

Castle Hill and Fun Town

Castle Hill is a medieval-themed area within the LEGOLAND® California Resort that features a miniature golf course, and Fun Town is an interactive role-playing area where visitors can simulate a variety of different professional identities or adult skills.

Pirate Shores

Visitors can have water-based fun on six water-oriented attractions and rides at the Pirate Shores splash park. Attractions and adventures include Splash Battle, Soak-N-Sail, Treasure Falls, Swabbie's Deck, Captain Cranky's Challenge, and Pirate Reef, a ‘shoot the chutes’ attraction with water cannons, a splash bridge, and a brick building play area.

Land of Adventure

Designed to replicate Egypt in the 1920s, Land of Adventure features a range of attractions that take visitors back to the land of Pharaohs such as Pharaoh's Revenge, Beetle Bounce, Cargo Ace, Dune Raiders, and Lost Kingdom Adventure.

Imagination Zone

The Imagination Zone features a variety of activities where visitors have to use their imagination, including Maniac Challenge, where guests play LEGO PC games, and a Wild Mouse-style roller coaster called the Technic Coaster-Test Track. Other attractions include Build 'n Test, where kids can race Leg cars, Mindstorms, Maniac Challenge, Aquazone Wave Racers, and Bionicle Blaster.

LEGOLAND® Park Hotel

LEGOLAND® California Resort features a LEGO® themed hotel with 250 themed rooms based on the popular LEGO lines such as Adventure, Kingdom, Pirate, and LEGO Friends. The hotel offers comfortable family-friendly accommodations, several restaurants with a variety of cuisine, interactive LEGO features and modern amenities and nightly children's entertainment.

Visitor Information

LEGOLAND® California Resort is located at 1 Legoland Drive in Carlsbad and is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Fifteen restaurants and diners around the resort offer a variety of cuisine from burgers to pizza, and strollers and wheelchairs can be rented for guests with babies, small children, and disabilities.

1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, Phone: 877-376-5346

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